Somerville Auditorium - 2023 season & trailers

Last Updated: 11 Jan 2023
Abigail Macleod

Somerville Auditorium is officially returning for the 2023 season. Relax under the stars surrounded by a canopy of pine trees at one of Perth’s most magnificent outdoor movie venues, located at the University of Western Australia. Hosted by Perth Festival, there is a range of international and arthouse films for all to enjoy. Check out the list below on what’s to come!

The Program

January

  • Jan 9  – 15:  Everybody Loves Jeanne
  • Jan 16 – 22: My Old School
  • Jan 23 – 29: Other People’s Children
  • Jan 30 – Feb 5: Broker

February

  • Feb 6 – 12: The Giants
  • Feb 13 – 19: 7 Days
  • Feb 20 – 26: Godland
  • Feb 27 – March 5: All the beauty and the bloodshed<7

March

  • March 6 – 12: Close
  • March 13 – 19: Alcarras
  • March 13 – 19: The Blue Caftan
  • March 27 – April 2: Feminist Riposte

Trailers and synopses

Everybody Loves Jeanne

January 9 – 15

Everybody has always loved Jeanne. These days, she hates herself – and the hairy troll-like creatures that burst out of her subconscious to comment on her life aren’t helping.

Up to her ears in debt, Jeanne goes to Lisbon to sell her deceased mother’s apartment. As her life falls apart she runs into both the odd Jean (who remembers her from high school and has harboured a long-time crush) and her now-married ex-boyfriend, Vitor – with cringey consequences.

Writer, director and animator Céline Devaux’s charming debut feature is an unconventional rom-com and a witty, compelling and frequently surprising portrait of a woman in crisis just doing her best. Devaux’s innovative use of laugh-out-loud hand-drawn animation combined with live action narrative creates an engagingly anarchic visual style and a sense of mischief which makes Everybody Loves Jeanne irresistible viewing. https://youtu.be/km6bVJgiJbs

My Old School

January 16 – 22

In 1993, 16-year-old Brandon Lee enrolled at Bearsden Academy, a secondary school in a well-to-do suburb of Glasgow, Scotland. What followed over the next two years would become the stuff of legends. It’s a stranger-than-fiction tale so bizarre you wouldn’t have believed it – even if you were there!

Brandon had been privately tutored in Canada while he accompanied his mother, an opera diva, on tour before her tragic death. The preternaturally bright student surprised teachers by blazing toward his goal of entering medical school, displaying a wealth of knowledge beyond his years. Brandon found friends despite his initial awkwardness. He took bullied students under his wing, introduced classmates to seminal retro bands and even starred in the school’s production of South Pacific. But then his unbelievable secret was revealed.

Filmmaker Jono McLeod returns to his old school for a nostalgic look at the strange but true story of his former classmate, Brandon Lee. Utilising playful animation reminiscent of ‘90’s cartoons like Daria, a pitch-perfect soundtrack, news footage, the memories of students and teachers and the talents of Alan Cumming to bring the tale to life, My Old School is an intriguing documentary with more than one surprise along the way. https://youtu.be/NExKOaQpjTY

Other People’s Children

January 23 – 29

Featuring a career-best performance from the hugely talented Virginie Efira (Benedetta, Perth Festival 2022), award-winning writer/director Rebecca Zlotowski’s enchanting and subtly moving romantic drama Other People’s Children follows Rachel, a woman whose outlook on life is upended when she starts a passionate relationship with a single father-of-one. As the relationship progresses her connection with her partner’s young daughter grows to the point where she’s mistaken for ‘Mum’.

By taking an entirely fresh approach to the role of a woman in a ‘blended’ family, Other People’s Children follows not only one woman’s search for fulfillment, but also gets to the heart of what gives us meaning. https://youtu.be/e4Xm68vycP4

Broker

January 30 – February 5

Palme d’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters, Perth Festival 2019) is back with a funny and moving film about an unlikely family unit on the run with an abandoned baby, starring K-pop singer IU and Parasite’s Song Kang-ho in his Cannes Best Actor-winning role.

With a caper-like story that is delightful, funny and heartbreaking, Broker reaffirms Kore-eda’s status as a master humanist, capturing the many and magical ways that individuals can be bonded by blood or circumstance. https://youtu.be/mmLvIP4m6EI

The Giants

February 6 – 12

The Giants explores the intertwined fates of trees and humans in this poetic portrait of environmentalist Bob Brown, drawing on his 50 years of inspiring social and political activism.

From the Franklin campaign for Tasmania’s last wild river, to today’s battle for the Tarkine rainforest, we hear Bob’s story interwoven with the extraordinary life cycle of Australia’s giant trees, bought to the screen with stunning cinematography and immersive animated forest landscapes.

From the team that made Freeman – the most watched documentary of 2020 on Australian TV – The Giants aims to ignite a conversation about the right of the forest to exist, and to inspire us all to save it. https://youtu.be/6jEY6nSEN94

##7 Days February 13 – 19

Ravi and Rita are not a good match. Though each has traditional Indian parents, they seemingly have nothing in common. The situation turns both awkward and enlightening when they find themselves trapped inside together for a week.

Conceived of and shot during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, this sweet comedy deftly mines and melds diverse topics including early pandemic pandemonium, Indian traditions, love, loneliness, soul mates, family bonds, being true to oneself and much more in one funny, insightful package.

The two leads use their impressive physical comedy skills to imbue their characters with distinctive temperaments, creating some laugh-out-loud moments in this warm and charming romantic comedy from a first-time filmmaker. www.youtube.com/embed/0Hot2tpLLOc

Godland

February 20 – 26

The acclaimed new film from Iceland’s Hlynur Pálmason, award-winning director of A White, White Day, is a breathtaking historical epic inspired by true events. In the late 19th century, a young Danish priest travels to a remote part of Iceland to build a church and photograph its people. But the deeper he goes into the unforgiving landscape, the more he strays from his purpose, his mission and morality.

Pálmason captures the unwelcome priest’s perilous journey in haunting detail and artistry, with evocative cinematography from regular collaborator Maria von Hausswolff mirroring his characters’ obsession to document a strange new world. Godland draws us into a fascinating character study, which explores the colliding of worlds, ideas and language with enthralling impact. https://youtu.be/f7fWr5Goszw

All the beauty and the bloodshed

February 27 – March 5

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is an epic, emotional and interconnected story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin told through her slideshows, intimate interviews, ground-breaking photography and rare footage of her personal fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the US opioid crisis.

Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, the film interweaves Goldin’s past and present, the deeply personal and urgently political, from P.A.I.N.’s actions at renowned art institutions to Goldin’s photography of her friends and peers through her epic The Ballad of Sexual Dependency and her legendary 1989, NEA-censored AIDS exhibition, Witness: Against Our Vanishing.

This remarkable and vivid documentary is about the bonds of community, the dangers of repression and how art and politics are the same thing. https://youtu.be/ZqPaPT6E_1k

Close

March 6 – 12

Leo and Remi are 13-year-old best friends who do absolutely everything together. But when they start a new school and their closeness is put under scrutiny, their bond is suddenly, tragically torn apart. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Belgian Lukas Dhont’s second film is an emotionally transformative and unforgettable portrait of the intersection of friendship and love, identity and independence, heartbreak and healing.

Cinematographer Frank van den Eeden captures a child’s eye view of the world, bursting with colour and light. The script (written by Dhont) is so economical, and the acting so beautifully natural that Close feels less like a drama than a tapestry of fragments from a candid documentary.

Close is a touching coming-of-age drama and an unspeakably tender study of young friendship and grief. https://youtu.be/av7xGRiXe0M

Alcarras

March 13 – 19

For as long as they can remember, the Solé family have spent every summer picking the peaches from their orchard in Alcarràs, a small village in Spain. But this year’s crop will be their last. The owner of the land is deceased, and his grandson and heir wants them to abandon the farming business so he can uproot the trees and install solar panels.

So as the children and the adults get together for the harvest, the family finds themselves at odds as to how they should go on, and risk losing more than their home…

Spanish director Carla Simón’s Berlin Film Festival top prize-winner is a personal and beautifully observed new ensemble drama Inspired by her own family story, Alcarras tells of a final harvest, relationships, unity, and tradition versus change. Bittersweet and poignant, it balances a bristling political conscience against its tenderly observed domestic drama. https://youtu.be/tSqcl2nfDQI

The Blue Caftan

March 13 – 19

Halim and Mina run a traditional caftan store in a small Moroccan town. To keep up with the demands of their customers, they hire Youssef. The talented apprentice shows the utmost dedication in learning the art of embroidery and tailoring from Halim and the three become friends. Slowly Mina realises how much her husband is moved by the presence of the young man.

Maryam Touzani (Adam, Perth Festival 2020) crafts her latest film with as delicate a hand as its lead, artisan Halim, does in sewing his ceremonial caftans. The Blue Caftan deftly explores an unusual love triangle with tenderness and grace. The intimacy of the story is brought to life via three equally mesmerising performances and captured through sensual cinematography by Virginie Surdej. The Blue Caftan is a rich, vibrant ode to love in all its many forms that unfolds in unexpected and heartening ways. https://youtu.be/CuVZYURXyEY

Feminist Riposte

March 27 – April 2

Under cover of night across France, small groups of women take to the streets. Armed with buckets of glue and sheets of white paper bearing black painted letters, they are members of feminist collage collectives, groups of activists who paste messages, and tributes to the victims of violence against women. Some are feminists of long-standing, others have never campaigned before – all are in revolt against the abuse that has too often overwhelmed their lives. Sexism is everywhere unseen – so are they!

In this spirited documentary French filmmakers Marie Perennès and Simon Depardon are silent observers, shadowing the women as they poster walls and windows and allowing them space to share their thoughts and hopes for the new wave of feminist activism. These fighters find joy in being around each other, in doing thingstogether. They cheer each other on, share details about their lives. They are interested in making things better, even though their preferred method literally won’t stick for too long.

The strength of Feminist Riposte lies not only in the spotlight it shines on this movement, but in the sense of belonging and fun these women share despite the ferocity of their quest.

Check out more outdoor movie screenings coming up in our Events Guide

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